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Women's Volleyball Suffers Four-Set Defeat To Tiffin

Photo by Samantha Downs
Photo by Samantha Downs

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. - Three Lake Superior State University women's volleyball team players tallied double-figure kills in this Saturday (Sept. 23) afternoon's Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) home match versus Tiffin, but the Lakers were unsuccessful in cracking the win column as the Dragons recorded a 3-1 victory (25-18, 22-25, 26-24, 29-27) at LSSU's Bud Cooper Gymnasium in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. 

Senior outside hitter Brooke Williams, sophomore outside hitter Amanda Reid, and junior outside hitter Jena Tulgestke led the way for Lake Superior State as the trio combined for 36 of the Lakers' 60 team kills.  Williams hammered a team-high 14 kills while Reid totaled 12 kills and Tulgestke contributed 10 kills for Lake Superior State, which is now 1-10 overall and 0-5 in conference match play.  Sophomore middle blocker Caitlyn Kane and freshman outside hitter Kyra Vezina added eight kills apiece as the Lakers would claim a 60-51 kills advantage and hit at a .157 clip in the four-set match.

Redshirt junior libero Paige Gotham's 32 digs represented a match best to lead the Lake Superior State defensive charge and received a 13-dig contribution from Kyra Vezina along with nine from junior setter Lauren Lukasik.  Senior setter Madison Castle set up a match-leading 24 assists and Lukasik generated 19 set assists.

Tiffin, which presently sports a 7-6 overall record and is 2-3 in the conference, received 16 kills from Jenna Huffman as the Dragons finished the match hitting for a .214 efficiency percentage.  Defensively, Taylor Lattimore and Loryn Huffman both posted double-digit numbers in digs with 20 and 14, respectively.

Lake Superior State trailed 1-0 after the opening set as the Dragons outhit the Lakers, .378 to .196 for the stanza to win 25-18.

In set two, LSSU pulled out the win as the two teams battled one another before the hosts snapped a 22-all tie with three unanswered points.  A block assists from senior middle blocker Elizabeth Ballor and Amanda Reid put Lake State ahead 23-22 to be followed up by a Kyra Vezina service ace and Reid kill to even the match score.  

Both teams struggled to hit well in set three, which included six ties and two lead changes.  Lake State was on the verge of winning the set and taking a 2-1 lead in the match, but allowed three straight points by Tiffin as the Dragons overcame a 24-22 deficit with the set's final three points.

The fourth and final set, which consisted of 18 tied scores and eight lead exchanges, saw both teams increase their attacking proficiency as Tiffin turned in a .294 percentage and Lake Superior State produced a .186 success rate.  The set featured five ties following a Kyra Vezina kill which put the Lakers ahead 23-22.  But, the Dragons quickly erased their slim deficit by tallying back-to-back points to tie the set all up at 24-apiece before the two teams traded points to knot things up at 25-all.  A kill by Jena Tulgestke gave the host team a 27-26 lead, but Tiffin gained a point back on a Lake State service error and proceeded to take the lead for good on a service ace followed by a block assist on a Laker hitting attempt to claim the victory.   

Lake Superior will continue its current five conference match homestand next Friday, Sept. 29, when the Lakers entertain the Ferris State Bulldogs in a 7 p.m. (EDT) GLIAC North Division match at LSSU's Bud Cooper Gymnasium in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.